Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A new day ...

My memories of yesterday are somewhat foggy ... after my surgery my partner says I was pretty "loopy" :) Then again, I was probably loopy before the anesthetic swam through my veins and made me "feel good." What I do remember was a feeling of anticipation, some anxiety. What I do remember were those feelings being immersed in the comfort and love of my partner and the caring, positive energy of the nurses, doctors and staff at Fairview Ridges hospital in Burnsville. Small things make me smile. I remember this cool new gown they had me put on ... it had purple paws on it and a magical way of keeping me warm. I even got to keep the Bair Paws socks -- little did they know that deep purple is my favorite color, and combined with paws, it was enough to make me smile. My partner kept telling me to stop playing with my gown which would puff up every time I turned the heat up ... a blast of warm air would fill the gown. Simple joys. I remember how I would entertain myself as a 4 year old in the corner of my dad's hospital room. My dad died at the young age of 39, only 5 short months after my mom learned he was sick. My mom has had breast and colon cancer. My doctor has indicated I have all the factors that make me high risk for breast cancer. These thoughts have been in my mind as I have muddled through this period of uncertainty ... trying to find comfort. Yesterday, for some reason, I found comfort.

The nurses and doctors were friendly, personable and caring. My nurse Brenda even came back to my room to give my partner a heated blanket because she was cold. I was toasty warm in my Bair Paws gown. She wanted my partner to be comfortable too. The anesthesiologist walked in my room wearing a surgical gown ... with great energy and a smile, he introduced himself, "I'm Jim and i'll be your anesthesiologist who will be with you and Dr. Guttormson in surgery. Lisa will be assisting me." He cracked jokes and engaged in conversation with us. He helped make us both feel at ease. My partner looked away as he stuck me with a needle. "Uncooperative veins" is what I had and he apologized as he pulled the one needle out after an unsuccessful attempt. I had bubbles in my vein which sometimes make it difficult for the fluid to move through. For some reason I thought I would be conscious, just numb, for the surgery. He said I would be "sedated" and conscious enough to do my own breathing but assured me I would not remember anything. With a smile, he said, I will make you "feel good." I told him, poke me as many times as you need to so i'll feel good!

I remember being wheeled into surgery as Lisa, his assistant, whispered some comforting and assuring words. I remember bright lights and Lisa saying "this will help you relax" as she put something over my nose. Lights out. Next thing I remember I'm waking up in recovery to soft, calm voices. I vaguely remember my doctor/surgeon coming by ... I think it's music playing as she says the mass she removed looked "normal" and she would be surprised if it's cancer. We'll know for sure by Thursday or Friday. About eight years ago she took out half my thyroid, an overactive nodule. No cancer. Eight years later i'm doing great with just half my thyroid and continued trust and respect for my doctor.

I have slept a lot since yesterday. I arrived back home to beautiful flowers from my dear friend Dana of Chuck & Don's; and hours later to Bread & Chocolate cookies and a touching card from the Pet Haven board of directors and my friends at Pet Haven. I am blessed and I am more than grateful for my life today. I feel myself surrounded by love and support. I am hopeful the results of the pathology report will indicate no cancer. I am prepared this morning, however, for whatever is to come.

Funny isn't it ... how peace and serenity come from the simple act of surrendering and acceptance.

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